February 20, 2009 (UPDATED Feb 22) –The latest PGA Tour player with strong ties to Las Vegas golf to leave a mark on a PGA Tour event is Tommy Armour III, who grew up playing Las Vegas' golf courses. Armour III, who was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame last October during the Las Vegas PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, was in second place after two rounds at the Northern Trust Open, two shots in back of Scott McCarron. McCarron has relatives who live in Las Vegas. The event is being played at the historic Riviera Country Club near Los Angeles. Armour III shot a one-over par 72 in the third round and landed in a tie for 16th. LIVE SCORING/RESULTS.
Armour III had matching rounds of 4-under par 67 to start the event and make his first cut of the year. Armour III will add the total number of PGA Tour players with strong ties to Las Vegas golf who have cashed checks on the PGA Tour in 2009. The total now stands at 11 players including Las Vegas residents Nick Watney, who won the Buick Invitational, and Charley Hoffman, who lost in a playoff at the FBR Open. Armour III is coming off of a career year–money wise– but at the age of 49 is still looking to compete and win. "I'm 49 and I'll be 50 this year," Armour III said at the post-round press conference. "It's fun to beat young guys. I mean, that keeps me going as much as anything."
Armour III was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame along with longtime PGA of America professional Jerry Roberts, amateur champion and golf industry business person Eric Dutt, and amateur champion Louis Redden. Other members of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame include Butch Harmon, Jim Colbert, Chris Riley, Robert Gamez, Helen Cannon, Jerry Belt, Brady Exber, Stuart Reid and Tom Storey, among others. The 2008 induction ceremony was held the week of the Timberlake event, and notables who attended included PGA Tour players Pat Perez and Chris Riley, and Janet Jones-Gretzky, a friend of Armour III.
Armour III also demonstrated his dry wit when asked about any swing changes that he has made over the last 20 years. "A couple of wives …," said Armour, drawing laughter. "(But) I've always worked at it and had fun working at it. I mean, I never really made any drastic changes as far as swing. It wasn't like I, you know, went to Ballard and then went to some other guy that's completely different than him. No, I've always kind of stayed — I've always kind of had the same type of swing.
I kind of work with Bennett and Plumber and Mike Abbott a lot, all three."
Armour III is one of about two dozen pro golfers who have very strong ties to Las Vegas golf. Las Vegas is also home to about 60 Las Vegas golf courses. The featured Las Vegas golf course for this article is The Chase at PGA Golf Club, Coyote Springs, a golf courses that is located about 50 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. This Jack Nicklaus design is visually stunning and is the first of several that are to be built in a new master-planned community called Coyote Springs. The Chase is a public, resort Las Vegas golf course and you can click now for the official website of The Chase where you can reserve Las Vegas golf tee times for Coyote Springs.
Other Las Vegas golfers who made the cut at the Northern Trust are residents Bill Lunde (T10), Dean Wilson (T24), Nick Watney (T34) and Charley Hoffman (T52), along with former UNLV golfers Chad Campbell (T52) and Ryan Moore (T34). Resident Alex Cejka missed the cut. Many of these Las Vegas pros play and practice at TPC Las Vegas, a PGA Tour facility that is a past host to Las Vegas' PGA Tour event.